The travel industry and climate change are inextricably linked.
It’s not only the big airlines that are contributing to rising temperatures, warmer oceans, and stronger weather patterns. Every type of business, from cruise lines to tour operators, can play a role in reducing their emissions and reversing the impact of global warming.
Now, even while facing the worst downturn we’ve ever seen, many travel companies are choosing to take a proactive approach towards their climate initiatives. With renewed interest, triggered by recent natural disasters and the global pandemic, travel brands are asking themselves what more they can do to minimize their footprint.
At the same time, consumers are demanding more from travel suppliers – more action, more transparency, and more choices – regarding sustainability and climate action.
This is why today, the team at Wildebeest is thrilled to announce an exclusive partnership with Cooler – a climate technology startup that will bring innovation and transparency to the travel industry’s continued focus on creating more sustainable experiences.
What is Cooler?
Cooler makes transactions carbon neutral by purchasing emission permits that otherwise allow industrial polluters to exceed their mandated limits. Rather than offsets, these purchases of regulated instruments stop carbon emissions at their source. What’s more, the revenue generated drives renewable energy development, new jobs, and cleaner technology.
Working alongside Cooler’s founding team, Wildebeest will act as the exclusive channel marketing partner for the North American travel industry. Through this relationship, Wildebeest will manage outreach, integration scoping, and post-implementation marketing initiatives for brands that onboard Cooler’s API-driven technology.
Cooler was launched by Michel Gelobter, a social entrepreneur and one of the world’s leading sustainability and climate strategists. Prior to Cooler, Michel worked as the Director of Environmental Quality for the City of New York. He then went onto become the founding Director of the Environmental Policy Program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
In the early 2000s, Michel moved to California and played a central role in crafting California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and regulations limiting emissions in fourteen other states, plus Quebec. Later, Michel sat on the advisory board for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection Environment and founded the Environment and Energy Track at Singularity University. In addition to running Cooler, Michel continues to lecture on climate change and sustainability at the University of California, Berkeley.
Carbon Offsets vs. Carbon Neutralization
When we first heard about Cooler, we knew it offered a fresh, innovative approach to reducing carbon pollution. Unlike traditional offsetting programs, Cooler works with companies to neutralize their carbon footprint at the source.
Different from the standard ‘cap and trade’ model, Cooler uses tightly-regulated pollution markets to promote a ‘cap and invest’ approach.
Carbon offsets are a feature of most standard cap and trade models. However, offset programs do not truly disincentivize polluters to emit more pollutants. Through Cooler’s neutralization tech via the tightly regulated state permitting markets, supply for permits is reduced. This creates scarcity and higher costs, and thus, an economic incentive to lower emissions.
At the same time, revenue proceeds contribute to clean energy projects, mass transit, and energy efficient mobility/transportation.
Here’s how it works:
Companies provide Cooler with their inventory to calculate emissions by SKU
Cooler uses their AI-driven technology to provide company with an accurate measurement of kg/CO2 for each product. *Cooler takes a conservative approach to measuring CO2 emissions. However, if there is ever an update showing that they have under-calculated your carbon footprint, Cooler automatically neutralizes more emissions to make up the difference. No matter the cost.
Travel suppliers can choose to either integrate via Cooler’s API, with supported implementation from Wildebeest and Cooler. Or, report transactions manually on a monthly basis.
Either in real-time via API or monthly, Cooler neutralizes your customer’s transactions by purchasing pollution permits on the open market.
Cooler provides travel brands with detailed, transparent reporting, showing the exact impact of neutralization fees on clean energy reinvestments.
Choose to present your findings and role in carbon reduction through a content-driven marketing campaign. Engage your consumers and bring awareness to your efforts.
Taking the next step
While there is no panacea for carbon reduction and the role the travel industry plays, we believe Cooler offers another robust alternative and a way forward for our industry.
We’re thrilled to partner with Michel, Jon, and the rest of the Cooler team during this crucial, yet promising stage for climate change worldwide.